Make stylish plywood furniture from 1979 book


Ouno Design blog posted photos and plans from a 1979 DIY plywood furniture book called More Furniture in 24 Hours, by Spiros Zakas. I just grabbed a used hardcover copy from Amazon for $2.00! (There are a few left at that price).

Zakas' book features many designs by his Parson's School furniture design students in the 1970s, and this particular student produced some of the book's most interesting designs. Where are you now, Daniel J. Cohen?
More Furniture in 24 Hours: The W Chair (Via Homegrown Evolution)


  1. ewwwwww. nice find! i love these books from the 70’s involving nomadic furniture or low cost furniture projects. they always look futuristic and space-agey on some level. one of these days i will finally make a frank gehry cardboard chair if i ever finally strike up enough nerve to hit up ralphs for their cardboard pallet protectors that wind up for the recycle p/u.

    1. That’s what I was thinking. This looks like an hour of work, tops. Unless procurement of materials is part of the project hours estimate and no power tools are allowed.

      Inflation calculators be damned, this project wouldn’t cost much more than the $26 it cost in 1979. Maybe $15 more if you go to a big box retailers and buy nothing on sale.

  2. Wow, I just ran the project cost cited on the cover through an inflation calculator… $26 in 1979 is equivalent to about $82 today.

  3. You appear to be using the word “stylish” in a way that I’m not familiar with.

  4. Novel, practical, transportable, low-cost… but stylish?

    I quite like it, but wouldn’t really describe it as such. I’d love to see more examples from the book, though.

  5. Wonder if this was a borrowing ::er, adaptation:: of the 1978 book “Fast furniture: The Zegel system : a unique forgotten method of building simple, beautiful wooden furniture” by Jon Zegel. The intertubes are lacking a cover, and I’ve got no scanner at the house so can’t show you mine….apparently if you’re in Butte County, CA you can be the first to check out a copy from the local library. (Plenty of used copies available online, also.)

    Zegel cut tabs and slots in plywood, then slid everything together. I’ve used the method since…well, 1978, to make sturdy-yet-easily-collapsible bed platforms and chairs. (And what a rush, thinking back to the days when hi-qual plywood was affordable ;-)

  6. If you search Amazon for “2×4 furniture” you’ll find a bunch of books about making cheap furniture out of ordinary 2x4s and other common, cheap wood. Surprisingly, many of the designs aren’t too awful.

  7. Are you suggesting this is not stylish, DrOrbitalDeathRay? That’s more or less a Brooklyn hipster on a totally chic bench that will never go out of style. It’s too weird to go out of style.

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